The Transportation Security Administration once again finds itself being accused of a variety of privacy invasions and theft.
In the first instance, the 17-year-old grandniece of US Rep. Ralph Hall was traveling with a group of students from Southwest Christian School in Texas to Australia. While undergoing a pat down by a TSA agent the straps of the girls dress are pulled from her shoulders exposing her breasts. Rep. Hall, a Democrat turned Republican, was outraged by the event and demanded a formal investigation and that the TSA agent be fired. TSA claimed they investigated the incident, watched video of what happened and determined that it was an accident caused not by their agent but by the girls dress.
When I read this it caused me concern on two issues. One, if I was the girl or her family I would be outraged that they had video of her being exposed. Secondly, regardless of the dress, the exposure was a direct result of the pat down process and not of any malfunction of the dress. Had the TSA agent been more careful seeing the type of clothing the girl was wearing, the embarrassing incident could have been avoided.
In the second instance, singer-songwriter, actress, model, dancer, and DJ, Solange Knowles claimed that she was going through security at a Miami airport and TSA agents searched through her Afro for explosives. She tweeted about the incident and pointed to a similar situation that occurred a year ago when hairdresser Isis Brantley was stopped at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta by two TSA agents who insisted on searching her hair for explosives. Brantley had already cleared security and was traveling down an escalator when the agents yelled at her to stop.
In the third instance Terri Ivester was passing through Logan international Airport when an agent at the security checkpoint took her bag for inspection. When the bag was returned thousands of dollars in jewelry was missing from the bag.
It seems every week or so we hear more and more horror stories about instances with TSA agents. Numerous reports of items stolen out of suitcases, improper pat downs, and invasion of privacy where agents are accused of touching the private parts of individuals, are becoming all too frequent.
Americas needs to ask themselves what price are they willing to pay for security when flying. Are they willing to sacrifice their dignity, honor, and decency along with that of their children? How much of your personal privacy and dignity are you willing to give up? Think about this the next time you fly!